#028 Rebecca Tillou: Perseverance Pays Off

fasd success show Jul 05, 2020


In today’s podcast we meet author, advocate, mom, wife, and adoptee Rebecca Tillou, who is also an individual on the Spectrum. 

Adopted at birth, Rebecca grew up with a loving family, graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders (Speech Pathology) and now works as a Claims Adjuster - a job she loves and excels in. She knew she was adopted, but it wasn’t until she was married and had her second child she started to wonder about her origin story.

Rebecca detailed her search for her birth mother in her book Tenacity, which we discuss, along with:

  • How a fight with her adopted mom about her birth mother became a catalyst for her diagnosis;
  • The importance of being transparent and truthful, whether about adoption or diagnosis;
  • The power that comes from using your primary characteristics of FASD as a strength; and
  • What it’s like to accept help and the difference a supportive environment makes.

Accepting help is...

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#027 Paula Schuck Shares Tips for Teens and FASD 

fasd success show Jun 28, 2020


I read a fantastic article by a caregiver of an individual on the Spectrum and thought … mmm, who wrote this?  I discovered it was none other than Paula Schuck, freelancer, social media guru, and blogger – but also a parent in our private FASD Success Caregiver Group.  I immediately knew I had to bring her on the podcast to share her fantastic tips on parenting a teen with FASD.  

Success looks different for our guys. For our families. Every single day.  

Paula shares her journey – parenting two girls - one with FASD and one without and how she knew the younger one, who was always on the go, super sensory sensitive and hard to transition, just wasn’t like her sister. We also touch on:  

  • The necessity of adjusting parenting style at every developmental stage and age.   
  • Comparisons to Amelia Bedelia and the need to be a translator for her daughter.  
  • Her best advocacy,...
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#026 Dr. Jeffrey Wozniak: A Conversation About Choline

fasd success show Jun 21, 2020


The timing of this podcast with Dr. Jeffrey Wozniak could not have been better. Little did I know a media story would appear two days before this podcast release, about the four year follow up study he and his team completed on choline for children with Fetal Alcohol. And boy did our Facebook Group explode with posts and parents wanting to purchase or order.

See that’s the thing with headlines, and announcements of new therapy and treatments – they are meant to grab your attention and emotion. My job is to save you some time, money, and further heartache by going directly to the source and getting the relevant information without the emotion. Choline does have benefits, but you need to know what those are and what target population it works best for.

So, who is Dr. Wozniak?

He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Kent State University in 1997, and a post-doctoral fellowship in Pediatric Neuropsychology at the University of Minnesota in...

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#025 Jodee Kulp: The 40 Year Parenting Plan

fasd success show Jun 15, 2020

Jodee Kulp’s journey is a familiar one. Adopting a child with undiagnosed Prenatal Alcohol Exposure from a system that just did not get it. She was told: “Love her, she will probably come through.” Professionals did not get it. They still don’t.

But what sets her apart from other caregivers that have been guests on this podcast series is how she gets it. And we will get to that. But first, we talk:  

Life with Liz: How nothing seemed to calm her down, but instinctively Jodee knew what to do. Recognizing her brilliance and the importance of focusing on strengths. How despite challenges, addiction, and life-threatening illnesses, Liz continues to share her journey to provide hope to others and instill understanding in professionals. 

Life as a Caregiver: Jodee talks about isolation as an FASD caregiver. Her own incredible story of being given a 5% chance of survival. How she created a life that allows her to use her talents, yet remain...

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#024 Dr Vanessa Spiller: Little Things Make a Big Difference with FASD

fasd success show Jun 07, 2020


Have you ever said: I just wish every professional who works with my child had a child with FASD – so they would GET ITWell Dr. Vanessa Spiller GETS IT! She is the parent of a young adult with FASD who also happens to be a Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years experience in working therapeutically with disadvantaged young people and families.

She has been a university lecturer and university clinic coordinator but her real passion is in supporting families of young people with FASD. She has presented many lectures, workshops and conference presentations on FASD and she has just published a workbook for parents and carers of young people with FASD called “Explained by Brain”.

In this podcast you get some professional insight (without having to pay a fee), as she shares tips, strategies and advice - parent to parent.

Now 20 years old, Dylan joined her family as an incredibly...

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#023 Barb Clark talks FASD, Rages and Trauma Informed Care

fasd success show May 31, 2020


Today we dive deep into an area that takes a lot of soul searching, but sometimes is necessary to preserve relationships and the family: residential care and group homes. We talk with a caregiver not only on the front lines of parenting an individual with FASD and trauma – but in the midst of the riots in Minnesota: Barb Clark is a Parent Support and Training Specialist with the North American Council on Adoptable Children, FASD Consultant and parent of four adopted children, including one with FASD.

Barb and her husband went from trying to teach the FASD out of their daughter:

We thought we were these amazing strict parents.
Once the cloud cover of trauma cleared, and the constant fog of trauma was lifted, we were able to have a better relationship with her.

In this podcast we unpack the journey between these two points:

  • How most professionals told Barb she was paranoid and how bad advice made things worse;
  • What parenting fails and early strategies she used...
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#022 Matthew Pakozdy Winning With FASD Supports

fasd success show May 24, 2020

I met Matthew at one of the very first conferences I spoke at. His story is definitely one of reinvention. He is a trained dancer, speaker and recently, after working in an office environment for many years, went back to College, to study both cooking and landscaping.

We start the podcast talking about how he is dealing with the new reality of COVID 19. 

I am still surviving. It’s having to make my own plans. It’s having to make my own structure, my own consistency, day to day, week to week and it’s hard.

But he is doing it. At 40 years of age he has a lot of practice and insight and he knows his strengths and limitations. In fact we talk about that and other important areas of not only struggle, but overcoming obstacles and growth:

  • Learning to navigate questions about why he “looked different” than his mom
  • Difficulty at school without accommodations or understanding of FASD
  • How as a young adult, drinking, using illegal substances...
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#021 Colette Philcox, From the Streets to Success 

fasd success show May 21, 2020

I am stoked to talk to Colette Philcox today – not only an individual on the spectrum, but the daughter of Brian Philcox and Bonnie Buxton – and the inspiration for Bonnie’s book: Damaged Angels. Colette is a mother of two – one on the spectrum, is an advocate and holds down a job in the film industry. 

Colette's story will inspire hope in individuals and caregivers. Adopted at 4, she was on the streets and addicted to crack by her mid-teens. When I asked her what was the factor that changed the trajectory of her life, she said there wasn't any one thing that happened.

It just clicked. Like a puzzle piece that finally found it's place.

Now with experience and maturity at 40, you will be captivated by her candor, honesty and insights on: 

  • Living life on the street (she estimates 85% on the streets are on the Spectrum) and why...
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#020 Brian Philcox, the Ignorant FASD Philosopher

fasd success show May 10, 2020
 What an absolute honour to present to you on today’s podcast – Mr. Brian Philcox – affectionately known as “Grampa Brian.”

With his wife Bonnie Buxton, he co-founded FASworld, a charity dedicated to raising awareness for FASD and supporting caregivers. Bonnie is author of Damaged Angels, one of the most influential books to this day on Fetal Alcohol. In addition to being parents of two daughters, including one on the Spectrum, distinguished careers and work in the FASD field, they developed the idea of the first FASday, and with assistance from Teresa Kellerman in the United States, introduced it to the world in 1999.

In this episode Brian shares:

  • Why he calls himself the ignorant FASD philosopher
  • Ideas about mindset, unrequited love and ambiguous loss
  • How he is coping in isolation, without his beloved Bonnie
  • The story of how Cleo and Colette completed their family
  • Their parenting philosophy and his advice to parents and caregivers
  • ...
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#019 The Eighth Sense with Lisa Brownstone

fasd success show May 05, 2020

I am excited to bring this podcast episode to you as Lisa has been a champion of mine ever since I first met her while speaking in Saskatchewan. Not only does Lisa share her professional experience as a (now retired) Occupational Therapist, a member of the Board of Directors of Canada FASD Research Network, but she has also raised two individuals on the Spectrum and is currently raising a grandchild.

Her experience raising her two children – with nine years apart – is an example of how far our understanding of FASD has come. From the comment  “my he is a busy boy” and no diagnosis until age 15 for her son, so no services and supports, to a diagnosis in grade 2 for her daughter and the resulting supports and accommodations for her. She also discusses her own growth as a parent and inter-dependence for success for individuals on the Spectrum.

We also discuss:

  • Tips and strategies she used raising her children and grandchild 
  • Regression is...
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